Five signs you could benefit from a relationship check up

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When did you last think about how relationship is going-does it need a tune up, or this could be a reminder to reflect on what you think about your relationship at this time.

If you are not accustomed to the concept of a relationship check up, it is a designated time for you and your partner to  'touch base' on the status of your relationship.

Set aside some time where you will not be distracted to talk with each other about what is working and what is not working. Explore how satisfied you both are in various areas of your life and your relationship, gently and with respect discuss what is important for you while giving your partner time to discuss what is important for them.

Take time to be grateful, to show your appreciation, to work through those aspects of your relationship that are not going so well and just generally talk together.

The real benefit of a 'check in' is that there are no rules (other than respect and openness). The real aim is that you, your partner and your relationship grow and is nurtured.

Here are five signs that you may need a relationship check in.

  1. Life is hectic for you both at this time

Maybe you’re both busy with thriving careers or you’re constantly running in opposite directions taking the kids to various activities, playing sport and spending time with friends. When your schedule is maxed out, fitting in quality couple time can feel like a luxury you don’t have.

A daily check-in could be your ticket to staying connected in an efficient, yet consistent way. It could be ten minutes over your coffee in the morning before you officially start the day or a few intentional minutes tacked onto dinner in the evening. Perhaps it is getting up earlier so that you can make sure that you spend time together before the demands of the day take over. Use your time wisely. Try not to focus on daily logistical stuff. Instead, make it about each other and your relationship. That might come in the form of a good long hug, sharing the highs and lows of your day, or talking about something weighing on your mind lately – whatever helps you feel connected, take it slowly and take it gently.

  1. Communication has been difficult lately

Does it feel like you’re speaking different languages lately? You just can’t seem to get on the same page. You’re having frequent miscommunications and both feel as though the other is not listening.  A daily or weekly check-in can give you the opportunity to get things back on track. Use it to get back to basics by practicing assertiveness and active listening. You might each share two things you appreciated about each over that day/week and one thing you need from each other, or something along those lines. The key is that you’re both engaged and invested in the process. Take it slowly and take it gently.

  1. You’re feeling disconnected from each other

Sometimes you just don’t feel very connected, and it might be that you just need a little help prioritizing quality time. Realistically, you might not be able to swing a date night every week. A weekly check-in, however, can seem much more doable. And when you can, turn that check-in into a date! Use the time to be intentional and present with each other.

  1. It feels like you’re always snappy and annoyed with each other.

Does it seem like you’re constantly irritated with your partner (and vice versa)? You’re nitpicking at each other, and even the most innocent of exchanges has the potential to end in an argument. Usually it is about the small things-have you noticed that? Chances are one or both of you have an unresolved issue or resentment bubbling beneath the surface. A weekly relationship check-in gives you a safe space to bring those issues to each other so that you can deal with them right away, instead of letting them fest and morph into something bigger and more destructive. You might want to set up some agreed upon ground rules, such as letting the other person speak uninterrupted or always ending with something positive about each other. And of course, remember to treat each other with respect and empathy even when you’re expressing dissatisfaction.

  1. You’re going through a transition or life change.

Navigating change as an individual can be hard enough as it is. Going through it alongside a partner or family can make things even more complicated and stressful. Scheduling a relationship check-in when things are in flux is a great way to help you grow together instead of growing apart. You might share about how you’re handling things, what’s going well, what needs adjustment and how you can support each other better. It can give you a sense of security and normalcy when everything else seems to be shifting around you.

Check-ins are a great way to touch base and assess the state of your relationship. While consistency is important, they don’t need to be formal or high effort. You can carry them out in whatever way best suits your needs and those needs will likely change!

The main point is to leverage them as a tool to help you address issues, bolster communication, and stay connected through all seasons of your life together.

Relationship Counselling maybe a sensible option at this time along with tools and skills on how to enhance your relationship and spending time together to nurture your relationship while highlighting some areas for change.

Dr Rhonda Emonson is an experienced and well qualified counsellor with a private practice in Albury, Australia and conducts session via ZOOM or MS Teams. Appointments are available during or after business hours.

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